Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Another weekend.....another anti-war demo

The "Stop the War Coalition" have a tradition of demonstrating against wars, even after they've taken place! This was the group who demonstrated against the War in Afghanistan even as the Americans were entering Kabul, and believed you could negotiate with the Taleban rather than bomb them.

Whenever I'm looking for amusement, I visit the Stop the War website. It's has all the predictable "American Imperialism" conspiracy theories, and has lots of links to (surpise surprise) the Guardian. One article suggests the Iraqi election was a failure for the US as the candidates the US favoured (such as Allawi) did badly whilst many of those elected held an anti-american stance.

All these articles miss the point. If you believe in conspiracy theories as Robert Fisk / Stop the War Coalition does then yes, the Iraqi election was a failure. To them the war and subsequent election was a ploy by America to install a puppet Government in order to control the region. But on the contrary, the results of this election are the best outcome. I don't expect the Iraqis to reward the Americans for liberating them, elections don't work like that. In 1945, after six years of war and a victory, the British electorate turfed out Winston Churchill and voted for a Labour Government. They may have been grateful to Churchill for winning the war, but they wanted change. They didn't feel they owed him anything.

Iraq is ready to move on and that means letting the Iraqis choose who to lead them. All over the World there are countries (such as France and Germany) who were liberated by America yet are anti-american. But as democracies, they are open and accountable, and unlikely to support terrorism.

Giving people democracy means giving people the right to oppose you, it means being a victim of your own success.

Just back from our honeymoon

We have just returned from our honeymoon in Tenerife, what an amazing Island! Only 85km long and less than 40km wide, it has everything from baking desert to pine forests and has a snow capped volcano in the centre. It has two climates, with hot / dry weather in the South and cool / wet weather in the North.

It is also full of history. There are the Pirámides de Güímar, which could provide the missing link between the Egyptian pyramids and the Aztec pyrmids. Tenerife is also where General Franco launched his offensive that led to the Spanish Civil War and ultimately his dictatorship. Thirty years after his death, you can still find references to his regime. Whilst strolling down a tree lined boulevard in Santa Cruz, Tenerife's main city, we noticed we were walking down "Rambla General Franco". And in the city centre, there is a monument to the Islanders who fought alongside him in the Civil War.

That's one of the spooky things about travelling in Europe. Even after all these years, you still find yourself stumbling across relics of Europe's erstwhile dictators.